Dealing with a wide range of topics from equity (not equality) through the dignity of walking and cycling, to designing cities for people not cars Gil covered a variety of issues that are facing Auckland now and challenged us to not be complacent.
Having been a commissioner in Bogota he warned of the peril of the CAVE people (citizens against virtually everything) and of ‘keeping on doing the same thing’.
He had 8 messages for Auckland
1. Change is hard. (Doing what you are doing now, is easy)
2. Don’t be complacent. You may think you are great but you are probably just good! Copenhagen is recognised as a world leader in cycle infrastructure with 41% of trips by bicycle. But they are striving for 50% (and then what)
3. Design for all ages and all abilities. Would you send your 8 year old out to this world or your 80 year old?
4. Equity not equality – some need more than others, don’t give everyone the same. Some disadvantaged need more help. How you treat the most vulnerable is a reflection of the city. One neighbourhood may have more than it needs, deficient neighbourhoods need attention and respect!
5. Play everywhere. It is for all ages and is a learning and communal experience for all
6. Walk. Plan for it and make it a priority. Birds fly, fish swim, people walk. Even if it is only at the start or end of the journey (or between L1 and L2)
7. Sustainable mobility. Public transport integrated with walking and cycling. A great city is where the rich use PT
8. Community is the expert. Consultation and engagement is key before the experts get involved. The community knows what works for them. Experts can deliver and design it for them
9. Benefits. Always tell people about the good aspects of walking, cycling and pt. and make this about outputs, outcomes and impacts. (quality open space = more people encouraged to use it = improved health and longer lives)
And a final message
STOP TALKING, START DOING!
For those that missed it it is now on the AKLconversations website as audio
Link to the RadioNZ interview:
Christchurch articles following Gil's visit: